Fall is here, and that means football, football and more football. Honestly, I dislike winter so much, that I dread fall each year, but the one thing I love about fall is football. Oh, and there’s also the great autumn foliage. As it turns out, Michigan has a top spot for fall colors in America. The Mitten shouldn’t be surprised, though. We’re one of the most beautiful states in the country. Okay, I might be a bit biased. But, when it comes to fall and winter scenes, Michigan rules. Here’s a fall foliage guide, with spots in Michigan and beyond.
The Michigan spot that I’m talking about is the Upper Peninsula. What’s great about the U.P. is that if you want to see fall colors early, this is the spot to go. Because the U.P. has such a long winter, they get fall colors before the rest of most of America. The U.P. also offers beautiful scenes of the Great Lakes and more than 4 million acres of protected forestland. That’s incredible. Going there in the fall makes for a beautiful road trip, too.
So, what about a specific spot in the Upper Peninsula? The “Tunnel of Trees” is a top pick. The 20-mile scenic route runs on the famed Michigan 119 highway between Harbor Springs and Cross Village. Driving through, you’ll see all kinds of shades of reds, oranges and yellows. The best time to view fall colors here and in the U.P., in general, is from late September to mid-October, so make it a point to get there as soon as possible.
What about outside of Michigan? One prized spot is Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It’s a popular area for leaf-peepers, offering views of black oak, white oak and red cedar trees. This area is best to view from mid-to-late October, so you still have some time. But, it’s also a very busy tourist area during the fall, largely due to the fall colors, so you might want to plan your trip for next year instead.
What about the other side of the country? They have leaf-peeping, too. Aspen, Colorado, is a popular destination in the fall, and their colors are vibrant from mid-to-late September. This mountain city is known for its thousands upon thousands of aspen trees with rich, bright colors. Plan a trip for next year, as the peak season has already passed this year.
Going to the east side of the county, Hunter Mountain, New York, peaks the second part of October. It’s a great spot if you know someone in New York City or simply on the east coast, looking for a fall getaway. The Catskills offer gorgeous fall views. If you’re making a big trip out of out, stay at the Hunter Mountain Sanctuary.
Finally, if you’re looking for some late-season action, go south. Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia peaks from late September through November, so there’s plenty of time left to enjoy the colors. Amicalola Falls State Park also has Georgia’s tallest waterfall, which is lovely in the fall. Add to that vivid colors from the oak and maple trees, and you have a perfect fall getaway.